Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hearty Winter Squash Soup

Hearty Winter Squash Soup
I love bold flavors in my homemade soups.  And this one is no different!  The butternut squash and pumpkin puree together is fantastic.  And the sweet potato brings a slight creaminess and slight sweetness to the dish.  All mixed with a few classic fall seasonings… no wonder my husband calls this soup, “fall in a bowl.”  Serve with my Gruyere Garlic Toasts to make it even more ridiculous!

Makes 5-6 servings

1 (1½-2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, 
       seeded, ½ -1 inch dice
1 medium-large sweet potato, 
       peeled, ½-1 inch dice 
       (about 3 cups)
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

                Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add butternut squash, sweet potato, pumpkin puree, onion, and garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Turn the heat down to medium and add chicken stock, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick.  Cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.  Stir occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
                Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick.  Pour broth and vegetables into a blender or food processor.  Blend until very smooth (you may need to do this in two batches).  Rinse the stockpot with water.  Pour pureed soup into the clean stockpot and stir in salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger.  Cook on medium heat until warm, stirring often.  Serve with my Gruyere Garlic Toasts.  Enjoy!!

How to cut a butternut squash:
It takes a sharp knife and a little muscle to cut a butternut squash, but the end result is completely worth it! 

First, peel off outer skin with a sharp vegetable peeler or knife.

There are two main parts: the skinny top part and the fatter bottom part 
(the "butt" of the butternut as I like to call it).  Make a cut in between the two.

Set the skinny part on a cutting board so it sits flat and steady. 
Then slice and chop.       

The bottom part has seeds.  So it requires just one more step.  
Cut the bottom in half and you will find the seeds.

Simply use a spoon to remove the seeds from each half.  I actually love this part because the smell reminds me of carving pumpkins.

After it's seeded, chop, and continue with the recipe.

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